The Community Rating System
In order to obtain flood insurance a community must participate in minimum floodplain management activities that are required by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The Community Rating System (CRS) is a voluntary incentive program that recognizes and encourages community floodplain management activities that exceed the minimum NFIP requirements.
Participation in the CRS results in discounted flood insurance rates for residents within the community. The discount is given because the community has reduced the flood risk by meeting the three goals of the CRS program. These goals include:
- Reducing flood losses
- Facilitating accurate insurance rating
- Promoting the awareness of flood insurance
Flood insurance premium rates are discounted in increments of 5 percent. For example, a Class 1 community would receive a 45 percent premium discount, while a Class 9 community would receive a 5 percent discount. A Class 10 is not participating in the CRS and receives no discount. The CRS classes for local communities are based on 18 creditable activities, organized under four categories:
- Public Information
- Mapping and Regulations
- Flood Damage Reduction
- Flood Preparedness
The CRS Resource Center is now available.
Polk County homeowners and renters are paying less for flood insurance. Polk County’s current Class 6 Rating has earned policyholders a 20 percent reduction on flood insurance premiums. The average savings on a flood insurance policy in the Special Flood Hazard Area is $132 per policy per year.
Credit points earned, classification awarded and premium reductions are given for communities in the National Flood Insurance Program Community Rating System.
|4,000 - 4499||2||40%||10%|
|3,500 - 3,999||3||35%||10%|
|3,000 - 3,499||4||30%||10%|
|2,500 - 2,999||5||25%||10%|
|2,000 - 2,499||6||20%||10%|
|1,500 - 1,999||7||15%||5%|
|1,000 - 1,499||8||10%||5%|
|500 - 999||9||5%||5%|
|0 - 499||10||0||0|
The Dreaded 50 Percent Rule
Under this rule, if your structure is damaged or improved by 50 percent or more based on the structure’s market value, it will have to comply with current floodplain management rules.
What Does this Mean?
Polk County’s Floodplain Management ordinance includes a Substantial Damage/Substantial Improvement rule.
The purpose of substantial damage and substantial improvement regulations (the 50 Percent Rule) is to ensure that lives and increased investment in flood-prone areas will be protected from flooding. This is important for residents and business owners to know because many structures built before these rules were created do not meet the required floodplain management regulations.
If the 50 percent rule were applied to these structures they would have to be elevated to comply with current rules. It is important that everyone knows this rule, the elevation of their structures and how that elevation compares with the current standard. This is one reason an Elevation Certificate is so important for all property owners to have.
Polk County keeps copies of all elevation certificates that it receives.
To find out if your property is in a flood zone, to request a copy of an existing Elevation Certificate or for other flood protection information, please call the county’s Floodplain Management Program: